Supreme Court issues temporary stay of Herbert Smulls’ execution

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BONNE TERRE, MO(KTVI) - The United States Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of the execution of Herbert Smulls.

The court is expected to rule Wednesday on two petitions pending before it, and could then lift the stay for the execution to proceed -- possibly sometime after noon.

Smulls' lawyers claim the drugs meant to be used for the execution are expired and have been improperly stored.

Smulls was convicted of shooting a Chesterfield husband and wife, then stealing their jewelry.

He awaits his fate in the prison in Bonne Terre.

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The man convicted in a 1991 murder is set for execution, just after midnight Tuesday.  His lawyers are seeking a stay of execution.

Herbert Smulls, 56 years old, is on death row for the murder of Chesterfield jeweler Stephen Honickman.  The victim died during a hold-up in July of 1991.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the U.S. Supreme Court denied his final appeal in April 2009.

Smulls’ lawyers are trying to stop the execution, claiming the state is using a "substandard" drug compound in its lethal injection.

This would be the third execution in Missouri since November 2013.